My first job as a bra fitter was in New York City January 2005. I was 20 and naive. I admit it. I had so much to learn. And my goodness I learned a LOT in the fitting room. Because NYC is a very diverse place, I was blessed (I mean that truly) to work with all kinds of people in the intimate, small space of a fitting room. And one of the biggest conundrums I ran into when trying to support and serve clients came up when fitting customers of color. Especially when they’d ask “what is the best bra to wear underneath a white or light colored top so that it doesn’t show through?”
I answered this question in a Hurray for Lingerie Q&A episode a few years back that you can watch now. The gist is that the most common way to make your bra disappear under a white top is to match your bra to your skin. I call it a “neutral for you”, as the word “nude” referring to one color (usually a light color) is exclusive. A great basic bra is one of the top 5 bra wardrobe styles that I suggest for most of my bra fitting customers, and most often in the US that includes a “skin tone” bra.
Back in 2005 when helping white or light skinned customers, it was a breeze finding a good match. So many of the bra brands we carried offered several light “nude” options. And as a white presenting Latina myself, meaning my skin is very light and I look and sound white, it has always been super easy and accessible for me to buy skin tone bras myself. Even before I started working in bras I never had to wonder if a shop or bra department would have a beige option that blended in with my skin. As a 20 year old trying her best to serve every customer who came in for a fitting, I was just naive enough to wonder “why don’t the bra brands make more skin tone bras for people with darker skin?”
Many things were different when I first started as a bra fitter in January of 2005. And some things are the same. One thing that is still the same: I want to serve and help all clients. Of all skin colors. Thankfully, one of the biggest changes is the new skin tone bra options available these days. Thank goodness that clients with darker skin no longer have to settle for wearing a black bra, or a light “nude” that isn’t nude at all for them. Of course, as I mentioned in this Revealed Magazine article for the lingerie industry, “Neutral Territory: The Expansion of Skin Tone Basics”, “while efforts have been noted, there is much more progress to make.”
When I shared the video and wrote the article above, I mentioned the importance of brands offering different skin tone options, and even gave some examples of brands leading the way. But I never actually gave some specific bra shopping recommendations in different skin tones! So, to support you and your hurray, below are several skin tone bra options across the skin color spectrum for you to buy and try yourself. Hurray!
Psst! Some of the brands linked are proud partners of mine or I may get a small thank you if you purchase through me. Your purchase through those links helps a lot in keeping articles like this coming your way. Either way, I always share items that I truly love and can help you say hurray!
Buy & Try Skin Tone Bras
Below are just a few of the options (yep, there are even more out there!) for you to buy & try! I have shared 20 different bras and 18 different brands below, some who are dedicated to providing neutrals in darker shades, some who are adjusting their skin tone offers. So if you think a style looks great but it’s not in your skin tone, click on it and see what other colors or styles that brand offers.
In addition, the brands below vary in size offering, price range, and accessibility. Most of these are “everyday” or basic styles that can support most folks’ everyday wardrobes. There’s a mix of underwire and wire-free, and molded and cut-and-sew. There’s even a front closure, post surgical option, ya’ll!
A few come in “mainstream sizing” or the narrow range you’ll see in department stores, or “alpha sizing” like S-XL. MANY of those below are available in a more vast size offering, including full bust (up to O cup), fuller figure (bands 44 and up), or petite sizes.
Do a little exploring below and of course ask me questions or book one of the limited bra coachings that I offer right now. Remember, these are just the start. And your bra matters because you wear it right over your heart. Hurray!